Community Youth Employment Program (CYEP)

Goals:  To provide eligible youth with age appropriate job training, life skills, counseling, work readiness skills and supervised meaningful work experience.

Outcome:  Youth will acquire skills and receive paid work experience that will help them enter and advance in the workforce. 

Program Description: Grant funds must be used to address youth unemployment, poverty and violence in Illinois' most needy communities. 

Target Population:  Eligible youth are in-school and out of school youth ages 16-24. Each youth must meet one or more additional criteria to be eligible: 

  • National School Lunch Program
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Other risk Factors: 
    • At risk of involvement or further involvement in the criminal or juvenile justice system, including ex-offenders
    • At risk of involvement in the child welfare system
    • At risk of education failure (includes risk due to social conditions)
    • Education failure (Dropped Out, Expelled, etc., no GED)
    • Youth with no work experience
    • Youth with a history of employment failure 
    • Homeless youth
    • Youth with a disability
    • Family income does not exceed 185% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) At risk

Activities: CYEP runs predominantly during the summer months to accommodate youth who are out of school.  Eligible and enrolled youth may participate in the program no more than 40 hours per week.
The core services are: 

  • Job Training
  • Life Skills
  • Counseling
  • Work Readiness Skills

Program Site/Service Areas: 
In fiscal year 2019, the Department funded 28 community-based organizations/providers for CYEP:  18 providers were located in Chicago and suburbs; and 5 providers were located elsewhere in the state.